Ryan O’Connell ’24
MBA for Executives
Director of Quality at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Hartford Healthcare
After my clinical training, I started work as a primary care physician. As my career evolved, though, I found that I gravitated more toward administrative roles. Healthcare is a very mission-driven space, but our organizations are still businesses, and they need skilled business leaders. I felt pulled in that direction, but while I’m a trained physician and experienced leader, I was missing formal business training.
In the EMBA program, just about every course I’ve taken has helped fill gaps in my knowledge or shown me perspectives that I didn’t know existed. In Operations Engine, I’ve learned the mathematical models, workflow, and throughput dynamics underpinning some of the workplace issues that are already very familiar to me. Workforce explored the practical considerations that leaders face managing people and relationships within organizations, and Accounting has been very helpful when it comes to really understanding the balance sheet.
I wanted to be part of community of classmates working together toward shared goals. The COVID-19 pandemic made this more challenging, but the program’s emphasis on in-person learning and on collaboration—though sometimes virtual—has continued. While always prioritizing safety, the program leaders still make sure students spend time studying and working closely with one another. It’s preserved our class unity and helped mitigate the loneliness and isolation that so many people have experienced during the pandemic.
To me, leadership development is a career-long journey. The EMBA program has offered some unique opportunities to grow along the way. Having the chance to work closely on a student team, in which the leadership roles we have outside of school don’t apply, has helped me think a lot about where I can contribute the most, how I should assert myself, and when I need to step back.
Other resources for helping students develop their leadership potential have included outstanding guest speakers and panels; events that bring EMBA, full-time MBA, and Yale SOM’s other degree program students together to network; and talks with people from offices like Career Development who provide a type of expertise and support that I’ve never experienced.
This is a program for motivated or aspiring leaders who are also team players. I’m so glad to be on this journey alongside so many inspiring and accomplished classmates.
Interviewed on January 10, 2023